Grief, the teacher none of us wanted

Since announcing this grief workshop, I’ve heard so many grief stories – “my son died twenty years ago and I’m ready to write”…this is the anniversary of my beloved mother’s death”…”I wasn’t sad my father died, can I write about that?” Yesterday someone called me to say their child’s mental illness brought a different kind of grief – grieving the person her son used to be. We not only grieve for our loved ones, we also grieve personal losses like illness and disability,  and everything that comes with aging.

Honoring and celebrating the past has significant restorative power. Being proactive about remembering loved ones no longer with us, or no longer with us in the same way, makes us stronger. Through writing we learn nostalgia is one of grief’s best antidotes for healing.


Grief is not a psychological disorder,

an illness to be cured,

or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual journey.

The best antidote for grief is to write about it together.

Nancy & Laura’s Workshop


Laura and Nancy are teaming together to bring their many years of working with writers in grief to this 3-day course, developed by both women, and taught together.

Laura’s book Freeing the Turkeys addresses grief throughout (her mother, father, best friend and love of her life at age twenty-three), and her grief essays have been reprinted in numerous publications. Her groundbreaking course – Grief through the Hero’s Journey was taught for three consecutive years with author and therapist Debbie Augenthaler.

Nancy London’s long awaited new essay book The Ripening: Essays on Love, Loss, Marriage and Aging is a book that begins with the early loss of her father at age twelve, and continues to explore personal and ancestral grief and how opening to grief is the path to love. Nancy’s background includes more than a decade as a hospice social worker, and now as a grief therapist,


“All sorrow can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.

― Isak Dinesen

Topics explored in the 3-session writing exploration:

Week One: The Event (The Call)

Grief begins with a phone call, an accident, a communication or a slow, expected ending. However grief comes to you, it comes with a call that forever changes your life. There are moments of shock and disbelief or a reckoning as our lives go on forever changed. Poet Debra Marquart writes  that long moment
before the words come,
the difference between
the way it was
and the way
it will be.

Homework: What people say – and what people don’t say

Week Two: The Wake of Grief

In this class we will explore our new world – what has changed and what has stayed the same. What has been disrupted and what adjustments have to be made.  

Writing homework: Gathering items of remembering for next week’s integration and honoring 

Integration and Honoring

We carry the wisdom of a broken heart, of kindness and compassion. In this class we will explore personal and ancestral losses, and  how to honor and integrate those losses to become the light in the world.  We are able to sit compassionately with others who are grieving. It’s an illusion to think we get over grief – it’s never over, but we re-enter the world holding our grief in one hand and a profound capacity for joy in the other, in awe at the beauty of the world.  

Homework: Write a letter to your loved one or the person you have become..

The Thing Is  by Ellen Bass 

to love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you’ve held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat

thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you down like your own flesh

only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this

Then you hold life like a face

between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes,

and you say, yes, I will take you

I will love you, again.

Writing through inspiration

while exploring craft  

The way we experience story is evolving with the language needed for the world we live inside. By participating in this live 6-week class series, you will have the opportunity to explore your story through the lens of love. 


Joining this writing community is like joining a group of beginning and published  writers who support and nurture each other’s creative process. Each week, writers take the live online (or in person on Kauai) class with the same 10 writers from all over the world,  writing together and sharing  stories in a 2 1/2 to three hour class.

Writers work closely together for three days, deeply bonding and supporting each other’s grief and creative growth.

If anyone has to miss a day, they will receive the class in Power Point.

The synergy of a group is as important if not more important than the talent of the individuals.

-Rick Rubin



This three-day course is helpful also if you are working on a book, blog, poetry or a series of essays.  It’s a wonderful way to explore any grief event and learn how step by step to be in a deeper discovery for yourself and the reader.

Many of our students have gone on to publication through this process of writing in intimate groups. We all learn from each other’s work each week, and this course will help every writer go deeper to gain new perspective.


Every writer in this group is respected and honored, so that not just the story is honored – but the whole process of writing a story or poem.



This three-day series has been developed to inspire writers to go deeper into their personal experiences, by guiding us to explore the canvas of our grief through inspiring techniques and writing prompts. 

Writers receive literary inspiration from poetry and essays, followed by writing warmups in the form of list making. Pre-writing exercises lead us into a longer thirteen minute write.

After we write, we share our stories and deeply listen with positive feedback.  Writers become part of a supportive, private Facebook community with others in the same workshop.

Listening means that it has not been heard only by the ears, the vibrations have penetrated to the consciousness deep within you.





Nancy London


Nancy London is the author of The Ripening: Essays on Love, Loss, Marriage and Aging; Hot Flashes, Warm Bottles: First-Time Mothers over Forty; and one of the original authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She holds a master’s degree in social work, and for more than a decade was part of a hospice team. She’s co-facilitated writing workshops on grief and transformation at Commonweal in California, and Mabel Dodge Lujan Center in Taos, New Mexico. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband of 36 years, where she is a freelance writer and editor, and has a private practice specializing in grief support.


To read more of her writing and subscribe to her monthly blog.

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Laura Lentz

Laura Lentz is the author of Freeing the Turkeys and STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. Laura teaches creative writing workshops online through LITerati Academy and on the north shore of Kauai for over a decade. Her workbook helps writers write to every stage of their story inspired by the Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by list making, poetry, mythology and segments from literature.

Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference, and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.

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Friday Online

4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST

. Class is 2 1/2 hours


Saturday Online 

11:30  PST / 2:30 p.m. EST

Class is 2 1/2 hours –

Sunday Online 

11:30 am PST /  2:30 p.m. EST

Class is 2 1/2 hours –